I remember I had Mashle in my bag, ready for me to read on my way home or when waiting for the friend I was grabbing dinner with when I came across a review for it from one of my fellow bloggers. It was kind of fun. I actually mumbled at my computer, hey, I have that manga on me right now! I felt this huge sense of communion.
I know it’s silly. But for some reason, it made me happy. It also goes to illustrate that Mashle is one of the more popular series to have been released recently (this is being written in August). If you’re curious, the post compared Mashle to Harry Potter. At the time I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing but I was looking forward to finding out for myself.
Why I Picked up Mashle
Because the tagline to the book is “Magic and Muscles”. That’s a fantastically silly tagline. Even if it’s supposed to be serious, it’s bound to be hilarious unintentionally so. I couldn’t resist!
As always, I encourage you to read the free preview chapters available on Viz’s site to get a better idea of the comic. And as always, I commend Viz for making them available. Yay Viz!
Mash just wants to live in peace with his father in the forest. But the only way he’ll ever be accepted in the magic realm is by attending magic school and becoming a Divine Visionary—an exceptional student revered as one the chosen. But without an ounce of magic to his name, Mash will have to punch his way to the top spot.
My First Impression
Oh, yeah this is Harry Potter…but also not…
What is Mashle
I have now seen a lot of articles comparing Mashle to Harry Potter. And it’s not just the Wizarding School angle. There are a huge amount of similarities between the two. The specific wizard sport that everyone is obsessed with and that looks so much like Quidditch. Mashle is of course naturally talented in it. The snobbish teacher that immediately dislikes Mashle based on looks and pedigree, the kindly but occasionally irresponsible old principal that has taken a liking to Mash, the school bully from an elite family that initially tries to befriend Mash but then becomes his sworn enemy when the latter doesn’t want to play his games. So on…
Even the base premise that has Mash trying to become a divine visionary is him collecting coins (points) through various school activities. Basically, the huge difference is that Mash is the ONLY one without magic in the world and his adoptive family (he was also orphaned) is really nice. As if Harry had been living with Hagrid the whole time.
I don’t blame anyone for calling it Harry Potter but make it manga. But that’s not exactly what I got from it. I got Harry Potter but make it Mob Psycho 100 with a dash of Saiki K.
For one thing, Mashle is a comedy first. Not a fantasy adventure, although it’s certainly that as well. It’s a gag manga with a lot of jokes and irreverent humour. I don,t foresee much heavy drama. At least not in the Harry Potter way.
Moreover, Mash himself is a completely different character archetype. Almost an antithesis. And since he is the main character, the story gives off a completely different feel. To the point that I wouldn’t say fans of one would necessarily enjoy the other. Personally, I think it would be more accurate to compare it to One Punch Man or Mob like I mentioned.
And for my part, that’s a very good thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume. It had me giggling and wanting to read more the entire time. I’m not sure when the second volume is coming out but I’ll try to pick it up when it does!